This week, I'll be handicapping the 2013 Emmy nominations -- who/what/why could win, all accompanied by my usual caveat emptor: Don't place bets on these picks, as I reserve the right to be wrong and often am.
Ah, but that's the Emmys for you -- the dear maddening Emmys, which only yesterday managed to give Bob Newhart his first little statue for a guest appearance in "The Big Bang Theory." Let that sink in: Bob Newhart, one of the great comics, and TV comedy actors, who is pretty pretty much on anyone's Top Five list, did not get an Emmy until yesterday.
Good Lord. So, back to my point: If the Emmys get it wrong, and often do, then I guess I can get it wrong on occasion too. But enough of that. They get a lot right, too, and let's focus on the positive.
Here's how it's going to work. Today: supporting actors and actresses; Tuesday: the movie/miniseries category; Wednesday: lead actress and actor in a comedy series; Thursday: lead actress/actor in a drama series. Friday: best drama, best comedy. To the nominees!
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES: Adam Driver, "Girls," HBO; Jesse Tyler Ferguson, "Modern Family," ABC; Ed O'Neill, "Modern Family," ABC; Ty Burrell, "Modern Family," ABC; Bill Hader, "Saturday Night Live," NBC; Tony Hale, "Veep," HBO
Who will win: Emmy voters have gotten a little lazy in this category, tending to just punch the ticket for anyone on "Modern Family." It's not a bad ticket punch, and both O'Neill and Burrell remain richly deserving. I love Tony Hale of "Veep" but for some reason don't see that happening, while Hader is a long shot, too. (Kristen Wiig, don't forget, couldn't land her own win.) Winner: Ed O'Neill
Who should win: Adam Driver. Brought incredible intensity, weirdness, to last season, but Emmy voters are a conservative lot, and may well remember a certain moment (which we won't get into here.) But Driver very much remains the standout of "Girls," with the exception of the creator and star.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES: Mayim Bialik, "The Big Bang Theory," CBS; Jane Lynch, "Glee," Fox; Sofia Vergara, "Modern Family," ABC; Julie Bowen, "Modern Family," ABC; Merritt Wever, "Nurse Jackie," Showtime; Jane Krakowski, "30 Rock," NBC; Anna Chlumsky, "Veep," HBO
Who will win: See above. Anyone who is on "Family" is the instant favorite. I can see Bowen as a repeat, except repeats aren't as likely in the supporting category, so maybe Vergara. Problem is, everyone else here is worthy, too. I'm going with Vergara.
Who should win: I'm going with Anna Chlumsky, who was terrific as Selina's chief of staff. Both seasons.
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES: Bobby Cannavale, "Boardwalk Empire," HBO; Jonathan Banks, "Breaking Bad," AMC; Aaron Paul, "Breaking Bad," AMC; Jim Carter, "Downton Abbey," PBS; Peter Dinklage, "Game of Thrones," HBO; Mandy Patinkin, "Homeland," Showtime
Who will win: One of the most brutal categories this season, picking a winner here is almost impossible. Cannavale heisted the entire season, Carter was masterful, Patinkin -- well, you supply the hyperbole. I honestly think Dinklage should be in the best actor category, so he has already been robbed. Paul won last year and certainly deserves to win this year. But I think the Academy chooses Patinkin.
Who should win: Yes, I choose Jonathan Banks, in yet another (so far) unheralded and brilliant performance on a classic. Banks was splendid on "Bad" -- harrowing, dangerous and ultimately mortal.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES: Anna Gunn, "Breaking Bad," AMC; Maggie Smith, "Downton Abbey," PBS; Emilia Clarke, "Game of Thrones," HBO; Christine Baranski, "The Good Wife," CBS; Morena Baccarin, "Homeland," Showtime; Christina Hendricks, "Mad Men," AMC
Who will win: Another ridiculous category where any choice is the right choice, so to any extent this gets down to taste. The Academy will probably play it safe this year, giving Smith another win. (Will Dame Maggie turn up at the ceremony?)
Who should win: Gunn, Clarke. Can we tie here? Really, I can't make up my mind on this one. Gunn deserves this, for five terrific seasons of a subtle, intelligent performance that brought Sklyer White vividly to life. But then so does Dany -- Emilia Clarke who now embodies one of the most vivid creations in all of pop culture.